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Compliance Updates

Brace Yourselves: Curaçao’s New Gambling Law Is at the Door!

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Curaçao is approaching the finishing line of their online gambling reform, with the new law being sent to the parliament. Markus Björk at Slotsoo has been in touch with both the Ministry of Finance and several Curaçao operators to find out how they feel about this big change. Do European license providers have a reason to feel threatened by Curaçao casinos 2.0?

LOK Now Just Waiting for Parliament Approval

On December 19th, Curaçao’s Ministry of Finance informed that the new law has been officially submitted to the parliament. The National Ordinance for Games of Chance, commonly referred to as LOK (Landsverordening op de kansspelen), is expected to come into effect in the first half of 2024.

Finance Minister Javier Silvania, the front figure of the reform, shares his excitement about this historical moment:

“We are very happy to reach this final stage. The submission of the LOK to Parliament is not just a procedural step, but a leap towards transformative progress.”

No More Master Licenses or Middle Men

The current setup of the Curaçao casino license is very unique, with four master license holders being in charge of giving licenses to individual casino operators and ensuring their compliance to the regulations.

This has resulted in big quality differences, and if you were to ask ten EU players how they feel about Curaçao casinos you would get very varied replies. Another critique with the current system is that most of the financial gain goes to the four master license holders, while the island of Curaçao is left with light pockets.

LOK will put an end to master licenses and middle men and require all licenses to be applied directly from Curaçao’s Gaming Control Board. This means more uniformed quality and better control. The new law will also require gambling companies to have physical presence on the island, creating new job opportunities for the locals.

The Curaçao casinos we interviewed all welcome the new setup. Spinwise (Tsars Casino) sees some hurdles, but says it will be worth it in the long run:

“The prohibition of sublicensing by master licensees introduces a new financial dynamic for individual companies, albeit with associated fees. While adaptation to the new framework may pose short-term challenges, the long-term benefits are expected to outweigh these initial obstacles.”

The Curaçao License Will Remain Tax Free

Curaçao has been a popular license choice for casino entrepreneurs ever since its conception. Alpha Affiliates’ Chief Legal Officer Alexandra Shepelevich lists the three main benefits of the Curaçao license:
  1. No tax on winnings
  2. No restrictions on player nationality
  3. Strong regulatory framework
Curaçao will not try to change this recipe with the new law. The Gross profit tax will stay at 0% for all license holders no matter how big or small the revenue is. This is a stark contrast to most licenses in Europe.
A common concern among Curaçao operators is that the new system will cause a high barrier for entry, which some see as a positive thing. The new fees for a Curaçao casino will be approximately 50000€ a year (annual license fee 24600€ + monthly fee 12 x 2050€ + yearly domain fee 250€/each, numbers based on current ANG-EUR exchange rates).
Another strategy to keep unserious casinos away is the introduction of a digital seal, which will be made available on 1st of January 2024. The digital seal is issued by Curaçao’s Gaming Control Board and will help players confirm that the website has an active license.

Keeping the Balance Is Crucial for Success

Finance Minister Javier Silvania shares that they had a very inclusive approach when drafting the new law. They consulted all the stakeholders to make sure LOK will consider different perspectives and not just serve one group. The country of Curaçao, its citizens, the gambling industry, and the players should all benefit from the reform.

Many license jurisdictions that go through a re-regulation fall into the trap of legislating too much, without the government listening to the industry or the players enough. This leads to fewer license holders and lower channelization rates, as both the operators and the players search for more attractive solutions from other countries.

All the casinos that we spoked to agree that a good balance between regulations and operational freedom needs to remain. Mark Wellington, Rollino Casino’s Chief Compliance Officer, elaborates this point in his interview with Slotsoo:
“One current challenge is maintaining a balance between fostering innovation and ensuring strict compliance with regulatory standards. Striking this balance is crucial to support a dynamic and competitive industry while safeguarding player interests.”

We wish Curaçao good luck with their new start in 2024!

Compliance Updates

Pace-O-Matic Wins Landmark Texas Court Case: A Victory for Small Business Owners and Community Organizations

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Pace-O-Matic, the industry leader in skill-based games, today announced a significant legal victory in Texas, affirming the legality of its skill-based games. This ruling, issued Tuesday evening by State District Judge Laurine Blake, emphasized that such games are not considered gambling under Texas law. The ruling represents a triumph for small business owners, bar owners, and fraternal organizations who rely on these games to attract customers and support their businesses.

Michael Barley, Chief Public Affairs Officer at Pace-O-Matic, stated, “This ruling is a monumental victory for the small businesses and community organizations that have been able to thrive thanks to skill-based gaming. Our commitment to providing legal, enjoyable, and skill-based gaming options has once again been validated by the courts.”

This legal win underscores Pace-O-Matic’s dedication to fostering a responsible gaming environment while supporting local economies and community groups.

For more information visit Pace-O-Matic

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Compliance Updates

NJDGE Closes its Investigation of Evolution AB with No Further Action

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Evolution AB has been informed by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) that it has conducted an investigation into allegations of misconduct by Evolution AB and that its investigation has been closed with no further action taken.

In November 2021 the NJDGE received a report prepared by an unidentified firm alleging misconduct by Evolution AB. Following receipt of the report, the NJDGE commenced a thorough investigation into the allegations to determine their validity.

The NJDGE found no evidence that Evolution sanctioned, promoted, permitted, or otherwise materially benefitted from its content offered by operators in any market that the NJDGE considers a prohibited jurisdiction.

Evolution also conducted an internal review, while concluding that its due diligence and compliance processes were sufficient, Evolution took the opportunity to enhance its processes. The NJDGE supports the enhancements that Evolution has made. The enhancements did not relate to any jurisdictional violations.

The NJDGE’s investigation into this matter is closed requiring no further action.

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Compliance Updates

Supremeland Gaming Moves into the United States Gaming Market After Gaining Landmark Approval in Pennsylvania

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The innovative brand is set to pave the way for unprecedented gaming excellence and innovation in ‘The Keystone State’

Supremeland Gaming Incorporated (Supremeland Gaming), the dynamic and innovative iGaming challenger, is thrilled to announce the attainment of its first-ever gaming approval in the United States, marking a significant milestone in the company’s expansion strategy. The studio has received official interim authorization from the state of Pennsylvania, a key market for the gaming industry in the United States.

The approval allows Supremeland Gaming to operate in the state of Pennsylvania and propels it into a new era of opportunities and growth on the global stage. The brand is set to unveil multiple explosive titles in the coming months designed by the in-house design studio Powderkeg with an unwavering commitment to delivering unparalleled entertainment experiences.

“Securing our first United States gaming approval in Pennsylvania marks not just a milestone, but a testament to our commitment to innovation and the limitless possibilities that lie ahead,” the Executive Chairman for Supremeland Gaming, Johan Apel, said. “With ‘The Keystone State’ as our gaming canvas, we eagerly anticipate transforming the landscape, pushing boundaries and creating immersive experiences that resonate within this new American base.”

With a team of skilled developers, designers and storytellers, the company is committed to delivering games that will captivate audiences and establish Supremeland Gaming as a prominent player in the United States iGaming industry.

“We are thrilled to have obtained our first approval in the United States and we couldn’t be more excited to introduce our titles to the American iGaming community,” the Chief Executive Officer for Supremeland Gaming, Rickard Ohrn, said. “This is a momentous occasion for Supremeland Gaming and we are eager to contribute to the vibrant gaming culture in Pennsylvania and beyond.”

For more information, visit Supremeland. io.

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